What to do in Aberdeen, Scotland! A guide for the Silver City

Have you ever been to Aberdeen? The city in Scotland is also known as the “Silver City”. In this article, I’ll show you around and give you some ideas what to do in Aberdeen. Don’t miss this charming city if you are travelling to Scotland or if you are on a road trip through the Scotish Highlands. Aberdeen will surprise you!

Aberdeen and the “Silver City”

On the flight to Aberdeen, a passenger said to me: “Aberdeen is a special city. Everything is grey. The whole city. I bet you’ve never seen so much grey at one place in your life!” Ha. Well, he didn’t know that I grew up in an industrial area in Germany, the “Ruhrgebiet”, a place which was dominated by the coal and steel industry for a long time and which isn’t very famous for its beauty. I basically grew up between the rests of a dying industry – so I thought, Aberdeen couldn’t shock me.

Aberdeen and its granite buildings

Apparently our passenger was right: Everything in Aberdeen is grey. Even the sky was grey. But although I’m more the sunshine type of gal and I get seriously depressed when the temperature falls under 20 degrees, it didn’t bother me at all. Turns out, all the buildings are grey, because they are build from granite – a very expensive construction material, but typically found in the area around Aberdeen.


Crazy thing: If you really, really look closely to the facades and if you’re lucky to catch a ray of sunlight coming through the thick clouds you can see tiny silver particles sparkling in the facades! I never liked grey so much :)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to explore the whole city. Or the surroundings. From Aberdeen, you can easily visit some Scottish castles, like the famous Balmoral castle! Anyway, here are my very personal tips for spending a few hours in Aberdeen:

The Maritime Museum

Due to its location and living largely off the oil industry, it’s no wonder that Aberdeen has a maritime museum. Must-see for all fans of fishy stuff.



The graveyard at the Saint Nicholas Church on Union Street

Okay, usually not a big fan of graveyards. Kind of creep me out. But this one here left an impression on me, because the green moss on the super-old graves were the only colorful thing around. Kind of a happy place in between all the grey-ness. Located on Union Street, not very big, so if you are around for shopping, stop by.

Shopping in Aberdeen?

My all-time favorite tip for all British locations! (And whoever once got lost in the food court of a Marks and Spencer knows what I mean!) On Union Street, you will find all the classics – and what I love most about British brands as a dwarf-sized person myself is that most of them have a special petite section! So no more cutting trousers! Yay.
And for all Jamie Oliver fans: this.

Afternoon Tea in Aberdeen

Tea, scones, jam and clotted cream: it’s sweet, it’s fat, it’s awesome! Not typically for Aberdeen, but everytime I’m here I love to enjoy an old school British cup of tea. Probably the same as anywhere else, but hey, five o’clock tea is such a classic!

Tea with scones

More about British tea time:
http://britlog.at/wordpress/die-briten-und-ihr-tee/ (in German)

Have you ever been to Aberdeen?

Any suggestions for my next Aberdeen visit? Feel free to share your Aberdeen and/or Scotland tips in the comment section!


More inspiration for quick city trips around Europe:

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  1. It’s a really cool look and Aberdeen definitely goes on my list, but I’m still very glad Hamburg doesn’t have a majority of grey buildings to fit the skies, that would be very depressing on the long haul…

  2. Crazy – it’s like stepping into a black and white portrait almost! Looks like it would be a pretty unique experience actually. Especially if you do have a thing for graveyard tourism, which we admittedly do :D! So would love to get to union street. Thanks for the great feature!

  3. I’ve never heard much about Aberdeen before this but it sounds like a really interesting place. It’s monochromatism makes it even more interesting.

  4. I thought I wouldn’t have liked the grey but it’s calming. I’d like it for a visit but not to live.

  5. Love the gothic architecture! Grey kinda suits it all! But the green moss on the graveyards does make it look colourful and even pretty.

  6. The tea, scones, and clotted cream just made my heart skip a beat (and mouth water)! Even with all the gray buildings, Aberdeen still looks inviting. Old graveyards are always so interesting. It reminds me of one that lives in my mind from Stratford-Upon-Avon.

  7. Wow, it is a grey city, but I love grey so I think I would love exploring here :) Looks like a gorgeous town! The tea time looks lovely–makes me want to go to one again soon!

  8. It really is all grey! I think I would find it a bit depressing. I spent time in Edinburgh and the Scottish highlands. Although the sun wasn’t always shining, it did seem a lot less grey.

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